Our society’s transition to operating digitally, has changed many aspects of our daily lives and now it’s starting to gain momentum in real estate. Houses have been sold as NFTs, while several companies have begun paying their monthly rent in cryptocurrencies. WeWork, for instance, has been accepting cryptocurrency rental payments for a year, while real estate firm Jamestown has partnered with BitPay to enable its tenants to pay their rent the same way. Blockchain, FinTech, IoT, NFT – for better or for worse, these terms have become part of the real estate vocabulary over the past few years as startups continue to sprout up across the country.
The cryptocurrency market is known for its strong fluctuations, and 2022 is proving to be a low point for the industry, at least for now. On the other hand, crypto-related businesses seem to be booming, multiplying fast and taking over office space across the country, primarily in tech-oriented markets like San Francisco, NYC, and Miami. While such companies occupy less than a million square feet out of roughly 4.4 billion square feet of office space in the U.S., they’re growing fast. According to the New York Times, leasing by crypto and fintech-related companies has jumped 68% since 2020.
What do Crypto, Blockchain and FinTech tenants look for in an office?
In Manhattan, Crypto tenants tend to be a minority, though the proportions are starting to shift. Companies in the industry used to be drawn to peripheral locations and submarkets with an ‘edgier,’ more ‘hip’ vibe and have created a tech cluster around Union Square. However, as these companies continue to expand, they are exploring high-growth parts of Manhattan, such as Hudson Yards and Grand Central.
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the U.S. by trading volume, has recently established its first New York City office at 55 Hudson Yards. Bitcoin mining company Cipher Mining signed a lease at One Vanderbilt, trading and mining network Apinigy moved into 1675 Broadway, Blocktech opened a new space at 55 Wall Street, while Chainalysis doubled its office digs at 114 Fifth Avenue. These are just some companies moving into Midtown Manhattan’s trophy office towers. Since the borough’s availability rate is hovering around 20% as of June, landlords are welcoming them with open arms. However, crypto companies looking to lease space in NYC often have specific office space requirements, and we’ll go over some common points below:
- Most companies in the FinTech, Blockchain and Crypto sectors prefer to sign shorter-term leases, given the volatility of these markets and rapid expansions
- Modern technology and connectivity options such as high speed fiber are a must
- Tenants in these industries want to make sure they will have room to grow and look for landlords who are open to providing expansion space prior to lease expiration
- FinTech and Crypto tenants want to work with supportive landlords who are startup-friendly, who understand the needs of these companies, and who are capable of making deals with young tech entrepreneurs
- There is a preference for open-plan, collaborative spaces with a focus on openness and flexibility rather than a high density of offices and desks
- Move-in-ready, plug-and-play spaces that don’t require build-outs are more ideal
- Amenities are expected to be modern, such as 24/7 security and accessibility, high ceilings and natural light, contemporary clean finishes, tenant-controlled HVAC, meeting rooms and video conferencing equipment, bike storage, and parking
- Crypto and blockchain tenants also look for a convenient location – close to public transit, shopping, and dining, with access to outdoor space like balconies, terraces, or access to a nearby public park
Which are the best office buildings in Manhattan for Crypto-related businesses?
Salaries for tech workers are incredibly high compared to other industries, and these types of companies tend to expand rapidly. Acquiring and retaining talented technical staff is highly competitive and challenging, which is why the office space plays a key role. Today, many tech startups operate remotely, especially those in the early stages of their business – and convincing employees to come into the office becomes more challenging. These companies look for modern office spaces decked out with top-of-the-line amenities, like those found at One Vanderbilt or the office towers at Hudson Yards.
Below, we’ll go over some of the best office buildings for Blockchain, FinTech, or Crypto companies looking to establish a physical presence in Manhattan. These buildings offer state-of-the-art, modern amenities, flexible floor plates, opportunities for expansion, and easy access to public transport, shopping, leisure, and dining.
55 Hudson Yards | Hudson Yards
The 51-story, 1.3 million-square-foot office tower at 55 Hudson Yards is the new home of cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase. The San Francisco-based company was the first major Crypto company in the country to go public in April 2021, with a market valuation of $85.7 billion. Soon after, the firm subleased 30,000 square feet of Class A Midtown Manhattan office space at 55 Hudson Yards from Point72 Asset Management.
The tower is owned by Related Companies and Mitsui Fudosan America and offers best-in-class amenities suitable for modern office tenants. Views of the Hudson River, a 360-degree terrace, efficient and flexible floor plates, column-free office space, and floor-to-ceiling windows are just some of the top-class amenities available at 55 Hudson Yards. They come at a hefty price, with average asking rents hovering around $100 per square foot or higher. Notable tenants include Facebook, Mount Sinai, Wells Fargo, Apple, and Boies Schiller Flexner.
600 Third Avenue | Grand Central
The 500,000-square-foot building at 600 Third Avenue in the Grand Central submarket of Midtown Manhattan was completed in 1970. Owned by BlackRock, the Class A tower is home to Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange platform founded in 2014 in NYC by the Winklevoss brothers. The company occupies the second floor of the 42-story building, which is also home to Pomerantz, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Fuji Industries, and Regus.
The tower is located just steps from Grand Central Terminal. It features a newly restored lobby, great views, Energy Star efficiency, and visitor registration and security turnstile system, among other amenities. Asking rents at this NYC office building start at $80 per square foot.
114 Fifth Avenue | Flatiron
Built in 1909 and renovated in 2014, the 350,000-square-foot building at 114 Fifth Avenue in Flatiron is home to blockchain data platform Chainalysis. The NYC-based company recently doubled its office space in the building and now occupies 77,000 square feet on the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th floors. The Class A tower owned by Allianz is also home to Capital One, Bank of America, Mastercard, First Look Media, and Lululemon. Amenities include 24/7 tenant access and security, new elevators, new windows, a new lobby, a freight entrance, and easy access to several subway lines and PATH trains. Office floor plates average 19,000 square feet while asking rents hover around $90 to $100 per square foot.
225 Broadway | City Hall
The Transportation Building at 225 Broadway is another excellent option for FinTech, Blockchain, or Crypto businesses. The 43-story, 480,831-square-foot office building is home to Refinery29, Utopia Music, CMA Law Group, Palant & Shapiro, Golub & Golub, and Primitive Bits, an ethereum cryptocurrency platform headquartered in Oregon. The building, owned by Braun Management, offers 24/7 access, UPS drop-off, an attended lobby, and onsite security and houses an onsite restaurant, an art gallery, a dental office, and a jeweler.
The property is also conveniently located close to public transportation, providing easy access to numerous subway and PATH lines. Due to the building’s setbacks, office floor plates are smaller, ideal for tech startups or companies in the early stages of growth. Asking rents start at $50 per square foot.
11 Times Square | Times Square
The Class A office tower at 11 Times Square is also known as Eleven X, and it was completed in 2011. Spanning 1.1 million square feet of office space, the Times Square tower is owned and managed by SJP Properties and is home to tenants like Microsoft, Digitalis Ventures, Bank of America, Proskauer Rose, and Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Matrixport.
Amenities include above-standard ceiling height, floor-to-ceiling windows, column-free offices, Fanwell HVAC system, private outdoor terraces, a visitor check-in system, 24/7 access, and LEED Platinum certification for its environmental features. Floorplates range from 20,000 to 40,000 square feet, while asking rents start around $100 per square foot. Spaces can be delivered turn-key, move-in-ready.
1350 Broadway | Herald Square
The 25-story, 404,979-square-foot office building at 1350 Broadway in the Herald Square submarket was completed in 1928 and is owned by Empire State Realty Trust. The property features a new lobby and roof, new elevators, bathrooms, and corridors, and recently underwent a $53 million renovation. The building offers 15,000-square-foot spaces and high-end, pre-built suites with stainless steel appliances. Notable tenants at 1350 Broadway include Telenav, Ecolab, Ameritas, Duane Reade, and Palladium Group. The building is also home to cryptocurrency company My Crypto Owl. Rents for office space at 1350 Broadway start at $70-$80 per square foot.
780 Third Avenue | Plaza District
The 490,000-square-foot office tower at 780 Third Avenue in the Plaza District was built in 1983 and is owned by Nuveen, a TIAA company. The 50-story tower offers Class A office space and a plethora of modern amenities, including a rooftop deck, a gym, a bike room, a tenant-exclusive amenity center, and onsite dining. There’s also a spacious business conference center with a 154-seat auditorium, seven conference rooms, tenant-controlled HVAC, a messenger center, and flexible layouts. Nuveen is also developing a $40 million amenity center dubbed The Gardens at 780, which will include a 12,000-square-foot public park, a new restaurant, and a new lobby and full-service coffee bar, among others.
Are you thinking of setting up your FinTech, Blockchain or Crypto business in a convenient location in Manhattan? Are you looking to lease space in a modern building offering state-of-the-art amenities? To learn about available office or retail space, call Metro Manhattan Office Space at (212) 444-2241 or email us at [email protected].